Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tradition music, modern cover

Of all the silly Québec expressions I've taught my Dutch friends over the years, the one thing that has always stuck with them --they can actually sing part of this, accent and all-- is the 1977 comedy Christmas song by Québec's Paul & Paul, called "C'est Noël car il neige dans la tête" (roughly, "It's Christmas because it's snowing in my head"), which I mentioned last year on 16 December on this blog.

The funny duo Crampe en Masse covered this classic a few years back and gave it a traditional Québec party feel, accordion and all. If you don't understand the lyrics, you'd probably think it was American square dancing music without the calls. In fact, American square dancing music usually comes from Québec (also from Ireland and Scotland), but not the other way round. If you're not convinced, ask yourself why Americans would use words like 'do-si-do' (also called 'do-sa-do' (dos à dos - back to back), 'allemande left/right' (à la main - by the hand) and 'promenade' ('to walk around'). And 'crampe en masse' is very Québecois for 'having a huge laugh', as well as making sharp turns in your car. Now, I've run out of explanations.